Russian Federation aluminium titan U.C. Rusal released operating results for the first quarter of 2017 earlier today. Aluminium and bauxite production numbers were down slightly in the quarter, while bauxite production showed a marginal increase.
Rusal’s smelters ran at a 95% utilization rate and turned out 910 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium in the quarter, off by 2.1% from the previous quarter. Production was led by the firm’s Siberian smelters, who accounted for all but 6% of production. Rusal chalks up the marginal fall in production to the fact that the first quarter had two fewer days than the quarter prior.
The first-quarter average aluminium realized price came to US$1,949 per ton, an 8.3% increase over fourth quarter numbers from last year. A 9% increase quarter-on-quarter of aluminium at the London Metal Exchange and a 1.4% realized premium growth to US$153 per ton buoyed the average aluminium realized price in the quarter.
The firm sold 985 thousand metric tons in the quarter, an increase of 6.8% quarter-on-quarter. That number includes 436 thousand metric tons of value-added products, an increase in that department of 7.8% over the preceding quarter. Rusal credits leftover inventory from the quarter before for the increase in sales.
Alumina production was slightly off in the just-ended quarter, totaling 1,889 thousand metric tons, which was 2.6% lower than the previous period. Operations in Russia accounted for over one-third of the quarter’s total output, which ran largely true to projections. Refineries at Achinsk and Urals boosted production, largely offsetting seasonal repairs carried out at Windalco, Auginish, and Bogoslovsk.
Rusal harvested 2,869 thousand metric tons of bauxite ore in the quarter, which was a 1% increase over the prior quarter. The Bauxite Company of Guyana led the production charge that quarter by posting a 13.2% increase quarter-on-quarter.